Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Through the years: ALEXANDER THE GREAT

For such an colossal historical figure, there are few films based on the man's legendary life. Are there simply too many touchy aspects about his life that even today is deemed too taboo for a major production? A TV series, or mini-series, would probably be ideal since cramming his entire life in a couple of hours might not be enough.

What's your favourite production and who's your favourite actor that played him?

Prithviraj Kapoor in SIKANDAR (1941)

The earliest film appearance of Alexander wasn't a Hollywood film but a movie made in India. I haven't seen it yet.

Richard Burton in ALEXANDER THE GREAT (1956)

Probably the only 'respectable' film adaptation of the life of the legendary man. Excellent production and great cast don't overcome the uninspired and cold direction. I like it and it's fairly solid but I wouldn't call it fantastic by any means.

Sean Connery in ADVENTURE STORY (TV; 1961)

This TV production based on a play by Terence Rattigan. Few people have seen this early starring role for the future James Bond star.

William Shatner in ALEXANDER THE GREAT (TV; 1963)

Shatner starred in this TV pilot which failed to impress viewers and TV network execs. Therefore, a potential series on the life of Alexander wasn't picked up.

Gabriele Antonini in GOLIATH & THE REBEL GLADIATOR (1963)

Alexander is relegated to supporting character in this pulpy action movie. Fun film but Alexander is kinda weak here (nothing against Gabriele though)

Colin Farrell in ALEXANDER (2004)

Personally, I think this version directed by Oliver Stone is a complete disaster and Farrell entirely miscast. It wasn't a success at the box office, which basically doomed any future projects on Alexander the Great.


Richard Svensson said...

I'm no big fan of either of these productions, but I suppose the best choice would be the Richard Burton movie. The best part of that production is, for me, Fredric March as Philip. As for the infamous Oliver Stone project, I really appreciate the look of it; the sets, costumes and props -which should all look splendid, considering the hefty budget. But the film as a whole is curiously muddled and confused, stumbling through the cut up plot, almost forgetting what story it's trying to tell. And the casting of the main characters is the greatest cock-up of all, with some truly odd creative choices to distinguish the various nations from each other. All the Macedonians are Irish??

Anonymous said...

Yes, and Olympias speaks with a Russian accent. None of the assumed accents made any sense at all. That's one of the very few films I've walked out from with the distinct conviction that I could have done a better job directing.